When you’re involved in a motor vehicle accident either with another car or pedestrian, there are certain things New Jersey law requires you to do. You are responsible for stopping at the accident scene or close to it. You cannot impede traffic when you stop near or close the accident scene. You must remain at the scene until a police officer or the person involved permits you to leave. You are also required to:
- Give your name and address to the other driver
- Show your license and registration
- Check on other occupants in the car
- File a report (either at the accident site or the nearest police department)
New Jersey considers leaving the scene of an accident to be a serious traffic offense. If you are accused of leaving the scene of an accident, you face serious penalties. Fontanella, Benevento, Galluccio & Smith is dedicated to helping you fight this charge.
Possible penalties for leaving a scene of an accident depend on whether:
- A person is injured in the accident. The injured person must be someone other than you.
- There is physical damage to the vehicles
If a person is injured or dies as the result of the accident, then the penalties are:
- 180 days in jail
- Fine ranging from $2,500 to $5,000
- Suspended license for one year
If the accident resulted in damage to the vehicles, then the penalties are:
- Up to 30 days in jail
- Fines ranging from $200 to $400
- License suspension for six months
- Two points added to your driving record
Subsequent offenses refer to any time you’re charged with leaving the scene of a crime after your first conviction.
- Jail time (from 30 to 60 days)
- Fines ranging from $400 to $600
- License suspended for one year
You are entitled to present your side of the facts. Determining your defense requires a knowledgeable legal professional. Fontanella, Benevento, Galluccio & Smith will help you with your defense by looking at the facts involved in your case.
New Jersey also has penalties for anyone who tries to suppress evidence such as destroying or concealing a damaged vehicle to avoid a leaving the scene of an accident charge. If convicted, you face a fine ranging from $250 to $1,000. The fine is the same if you’re convicted of concealing the identity of the driver who left the scene.
There are some common reasons why people may leave the scene of an accident. For example, you did not realize you were in an accident. A legitimate defense can result in acquittal or a reduced charge. Call us for a free consultation and we will help fight these charges against you.